Excerpt: Americanah

Farafina Books

americanahFinally, Aisha finished with her customer and asked what colour Ifemelu wanted for her hair attachments.
“Colour four.”
“Not good colour,” Aisha said promptly.
“That’s what I use.”
“It look dirty. You don’t want colour one?”
“Colour one is too black, it looks fake,” Ifemelu said, loosening her headwrap. “Sometimes I use colour two, but colour four is closest to my natural colour.”
Aisha shrugged, a haughty shrug, as though it was not her problem if her customer did not have good taste. She reached into a cupboard, brought out two packets of attachments, checked to make sure they
were both the same colour.
She touched Ifemelu’s hair. “Why you don’t have relaxer?”
“I like my hair the way God made it.”
“But how you comb it? Hard to comb,” Aisha said.
Ifemelu had brought her own comb. She gently combed her hair, dense, soft and tightly coiled, until it framed her head like…

View original post 260 more words

Advertisements

The Sanctity of an American Corpse

Gimba Kakanda's Blog

 500 killed in a fresh crisis in Jos onMonday. 20 shot dead by unknown gunmen in Postikumon Tuesday.10 killed in a Boko Haram attackonWednesday. 20 killed in a Boko Haram attackonThursday.30 killed in a Boko Haram attackon Friday. 40 killed in a Boko Haram attackon Saturday.Bomb goes off in church during service, 50 reported killed, many injured onSunday. As the more perceptive Nigerian journalists now know, these are the clichés that no longer attract readers no matter the best efforts of sensation-minded editors. These have been the headlines of Nigerian newspapers with which the psyches of thinking Nigerians are constantly harassed, so their empathies are bumbed and diminished, day in, day out.

Our silence over the killings across northern Nigeria…

View original post 883 more words

On Pseudo-literary/intellectual Bullshit

Image

I am angry about the pseudo-literary/intellectual bullshit we let pass. So the internet has become open arena abi? The 20th century saw us getting worse and worse and worse! The “death of philosophy and art”, the “end of history”? And you did not know it was your own death knell?

We need to remind each other why the Humanities are so important. It is, in one phrase, “to keep philistinism at bay”. It is because music and light are as universal and mysterious as man and it is important to keep men aware of the mystery that is themselves, that sets them away from animals. And that music and light, whether in painting or writing, needs to be cultured. 

When we let the pseudo-literary/intellectual take over on account of the validity of “opinion”, we mess with the culture of progress and enlightenment than we are at the end of. The Humanities are important for our self preservation. We really should not be irresponsible.

On the Arrogant Writer

Image

Don’t you think it is incongruous to accuse a writer of “arrogance” or being “egotistical” about a fiction he has written? Of course he knows that he knows his book better than you ever will. And what on earth is a book of fiction but the supreme creation of ego? Aren’t you far wrong to expect it to be otherwise?

Yet I hear these two words uttered as accusations!

There are few things a craftsman can be arrogant about and one of these is the work of his hands. Expect no prevarication from me on what I have done, I am confident about it, confident enough to give it to you to test and appraise it. In giving it to you, you get the right to appraise, you get a universal lease on it. But never forget that you are entering my world, not the other way around.

 

On Originality versus Authenticity

I am thinking about cliquey minded collectives and how interesting that, for purposes of psychology alone of course, a certain sort of artist cannot find validation in how well they pour themselves into their work. A lot of Nigeria’s young artists, in writing especially, posses talent but are lacking in authenticity, yet authenticity is what endures, for it is not a thing to be considered to be acknowledged by a fellow artist or a consumer of art. It is de-facto and in your face. It is not the same thing as talent, which merely produces some sort of original work.

Authenticity is what is there beneath the words, as potent as a slap or the hiss of a rattlesnake. It is the sense, for want of a better word, that gives a moral core to an artist. A moral core has nothing to do with morality. Cliquey minded collectives may produce original work, in literature and even art, but never authentic work. For the artists themselves are defective.

But then, there have been some for whom the lesser rung, mere originality or even less than this, is enough. To these unfortunates I say the salaam of politeness only.

The Intelligence of Religious Robots

Gimba Kakanda's Blog

Image

There is nothing as torturous, in both academic and literary exercises, as interpreting plain sentences to literate people. Such tortures are not as a result of the energy one burns in the process, but in realising that a people who ought to be tasked with educating the one-dimensional followers of a misunderstood religion are actually the dangers beckoning immediate attention—and salvation! My last week’s column, “Allah is also African”, was, perhaps deliberately, read upside down by those whose brilliance picked out that I refer to Allah as a “dark-skinned being.” That’s what they got from the symbolism!

The comparison of Salafism and Sufism was simply to show us the good neighbours between the two groups. My arguments were a clear and direct condemnation of African Salafists’ campaigns of ultraconservatism, which has given birth to evils already growing fangs that will in maturity bite and consume the black race in one…

View original post 989 more words

Advertisements

African Writing and Stuff

SchoolsNigeria.Info

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein

Plateau News Online

...News of the people by the people

Jalada

A pan-African writers' collective.

9jafeminista

Nigerian, Feminist, Fierce

Jekwu Ozoemene

The official blog for author Jekwu Ozoemene

Writivism

Promoting African Literature since 2012

fateemahsblog

TwistsnTurns

SHEILLAH ABAHO

Sheillah is an educated Black Woman, Human rights defender, Photographer and an Avid student of life

Olawritesfiction

My writing journey, updates, publications and work in progress.

Gbenga's Notebook

Musings and Notes from a Lagos Boy

Linguistic Playfulness

Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop 2011

Cheese

say it with pictures

Zainab Sandah

From the grassroots

Moments in Literature

An exploration of world literature

Terra Kulture

NIGERIAN ARTS & CULTURE CENTRE